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Greece responds to NGOs' lies

Greece promises to get tougher on migration, Greek Minister of Migration and Asylum Notis Mitarakis said in an interview. Although NGOs have been attacking the country for months because of the conditions the migrants live in, the minister denied the allegations and claimed that the country met all international standards.

Greek Minister of Migration Notis Mitarakis refuted the lies of the NGOs.

In recent weeks, pro-migration NGOs have been constantly attacking the Greek government for what they say illegal immigrants are living in unsustainable conditions and immediately demanded their redistribution in the continental areas of the country instead of the reception camps. Accusations include that there are no toilets and no showers available, which now poses an even greater risk due to the pandemic.

The minister pointed out that the allegations are not true as the temporary camps have enough toilets, according to international standards, they are fully equipped hygienically, they do have shower facilities and the EU has promised a support framework to make more hygiene improvements within the camp.

To get the whole picture, it is important to note that migrants had to be placed in temporary camps as fire had broken out in two camps earlier. Official investigations showed that the fire was started by migrants whose asylum applications had been rejected.

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The minister added that despite the NGOs' expectations, the government does not provide social housing to migrants, it is their responsibility to find a house. "We are supporting them with rent, but they need to take that initiative," Mitarakis explained.

In an interview with InfoMigrants, the minister denied the interviewer's assumption as the reason for the high number of people Greece has granted protection to is because the majority are fleeing persecution and they cannot return to their countries. Mitarakis argued that "Afghanistan - for example - has many safe areas and there is a government there and people can choose to go back to their country, not necessarily to the village where they were born, but maybe to other parts of the country." He also pointed out that the majority of migrants had already left several safe countries before arriving in Greece. He said the government is currently reviewing the legislation, whether they should be providing asylum to people who come through countries where they are safe.

The minister also reported on the tightening of immigration criteria and stated that they would protect their borders in line with international law. Along the way, surveillance around migrant reception areas will be strengthened, border controls will be tightened and asylum criteria will be reviewed.

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